newport, 40 years ago. this is what the folkies must have felt like: they came to see their idol, they came to see the saviour. when bob finally entered the stage, the first thing he did was pluggin' in his guitar and let his fans taste the new 'electric dylan'. folks gone mad, booing and whisteling. once more, the artist was ahead of his followers, and critics nowadays praise the bob dylan songs with his guitar amplified and overdriven more than his folk music tunes. where's the connecting to james gardner a.k.a. giraffe except the fact both guys are wearing tastily hats?
if you know james' dusty window EP at 12rec. (which you should), you might have a similar expectations compared to the people back in the days waiting for dylan to pick his acoustic guitar. james also plugged in his guitar and turned up the volume- well, most of the time.
the shift from spare and acoustic folk-songs to his current sound of opulent lo-fi progrock hasn't been the decision of a single night. when we got to know him in the summer of 2004, he already talked about his plans to get more into rock- and blues music. the dusty window EP was sort of a last point and set him free to expand his songs with a lot of strange instruments (he's into woodwinds), drums and distortion as well as swirling synth-lines, programmed beats and field-recordings.
in 2006, noone should get shocked by this. like the late elliot smith, james injected his unique style into a more opulent setting. he puts his music on a higher level and prooves himself as a great musician and composer. james manages to focus a dozen different instruments on a four minutes-popsong without loosing tension and harmonical grip. you'll love it.
thanks to andrew a. peterson for the nice cover painting!
May 29, 2009 Subject:
Reminds me of Grizzly Bear - which is a good thing!
May 30, 2008 Subject:
A solid effort
This full-length has its good and its bad. The good is obvious - the driving but unhurried "A Lot of History in a Very Short Time" is enough by itself to justify downloading the album, and combined with excellent melancholic stylings like "Exit Out a Window," the album has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, two tracks midway through the album; "Bullet Train" trips the album up, and the sloppy feel of "The Scientist" almost stops it completely. Fortunately, the solid remaing tracks put the release on a firmer footing and give it a satisfying ending.
July 21, 2007 Subject:
I've got a theory that records with trees on the cover are usually quite good. It may just be superstition on my part, or my affinity for the image, but this record further supports it.
November 19, 2006 Subject:
didn't like the "dusty window" ep too much, but this is great!
especially tracks 2, 3 and 10 are amazing.
December 24, 2005 Subject:
I love it !
Reviewer:analog und ehrlich
December 23, 2005 Subject:
A great recording! There are no words for it - just listen to it. Melodic, melancholic... I want more of this.